Director of National Climate Action

Program Management WRI Offices Other Than United States


Job Summary

In this role, you will lead a portfolio of impactful programs in key countries that result in measurable change in terms of supporting countries to enhance their climate ambition. You will oversee the development and implementation of research and engagement projects focused on assessing and quantifying the social and economic benefits of climate action, integrating smart climate action into national development and infrastructure investment plans, the implementation and enhancement of country NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), and the development of Long Term Strategies.

You will leverage a deep understanding of climate policy and finance, and a network of multilateral and private finance institutions, to ensure the research results in investment-ready projects and climate-smart policies. In addition, you will provide thought leadership and oversight, manage a growing and diverse team of Economists, Scientists and other Researchers, and Engagement and Communications professionals, and liaise with high-level champions, government representatives, funders, and external partners. You will engage WRI experts from other disciplines to ensure a consistent and impactful approach to policy analysis, economic modeling, and enhancement efforts in countries. You will also lead on key research efforts in their field of expertise, including by authoring papers, managing research teams, and contributing to specific research products.

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at one of our WRI’s offices other than our US office once restrictions have lifted.

Job Responsibilities

Program Management and Leadership (50%)
  • Develops strategies and sets objectives for WRI’s National Climate Action work and related major research products, working closely with the Climate and Economics teams and the relevant International Office leads.
  • Manages the National Climate Action team, including Economists and other Researchers, and Communications and Engagement Staff
  • Provides leadership and oversight of major research efforts across programs and International Offices
  • Manages the program budget and financial performance with support from members of the Operations Team, taking appropriate action to ensure financial objectives are met.
  • Identifies potential gaps in personnel or expertise and develops plans to fill them, including inputting into hiring decisions and overseeing procurement of research services through appropriate consultants. 
  • Represents the Climate Team in internal and external meetings, advocating for its strategic approach, needs, and value. Proactively manages changes in the scope of work for National Climate Action, identifies and mitigates potential risks, and oversees implementation of annual work plans.
Research & Knowledge (25%)
  • Intellectual leadership - identifies and explores knowledge gaps where WRI research can motivate higher climate ambition in key countries, consistent with our mission and in collaboration with research staff from other programs/centers/international offices
  • Determines and manages the National Climate Action Program’s research direction and approach, ensuring consistency in messaging and deliverables across the team
  • Drives impact through research, with a special focus on measurable policy change in countries that can be turned into investment-ready project pipelines
  • Develops and oversees research efforts between different departments, organizations, and across country teams
  • Identifies the data and methods needed to produce robust, unbiased research that addresses knowledge gaps and informs the program's influence strategies
  • Authors or co-authors knowledge products (e.g., reports, briefs, data-products)
  • Reviews and signs-off on WRI National Climate Action knowledge products Presents National Climate Action research in media engagements, written materials, and external events
Program Development (25%)
  • Lead on strategy development, partnership development, and fundraising proposals (presentations, narratives, budgets) for the National Climate Action work, with support from the Climate Development team
  • Lead on determining appropriate research topics and plans for proposals and development efforts
  • Leverage new and maintain existing relationships with foundations, governments and individual donors
  • Develops and leads outreach/funding presentations to potential donors
  • Monitor and evaluate program performance with support from staff
  • Develop, and manage others to develop, presentations for internal and external audiences
Job Qualifications
  • Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in relevant field (Economics, Finance, Environmental Management, etc.)
  • Minimum 15 years of hands-on experience in program implementation and project management, ideally within an international nonprofit organization, and minimum of 10 years of experience in management or leadership roles
  • Demonstrated experience in working with high-level stakeholders and champions (including Finance or Economic Ministers and CEOs)
  • Demonstrated ability to connect research results to measurable external change
  • Prior supervision and mentorship of international teams
  • Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills Commitment to WRI’s mission and values
How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

Program Overview

WRI’s Climate Program works to accelerate the transition to a stronger, more inclusive and low-carbon growth path in order to confront the climate crisis and build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. With centers in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Africa, the US, and Mexico, our experts focus on shifting national policies through economic and policy analysis, global diplomacy, data and accountability. The National Climate Action Initiative is a joint effort of the Climate Program, the Economics Center, and WRI International Offices comprising efforts undertaken as part of the work on a New Climate Economy, on the development of Long Term Strategies, and NDC implementation and enhancement.​ We believe that if countries are directly supported with rigorous and compelling policy and economic analysis, technical tools and capacity building, on how to incorporate climate action into economic and national development policy and narratives, then we can overcome many of the political and financial barriers to increasing climate ambition.​